2018-10-21 / Auto View

Items necessary to fix a flat tire

Flat tires are a nuisance, but even the most well-maintained vehicles can be vulnerable to the occasional flat. Ensuring tires are properly inflated and in good condition can help drivers avoid accidents, but won’t necessarily make tires immune to flats. The following are some essential items that all drivers should keep in their vehicles so they can quickly and correctly replace flat tires.

• Spare tire: Spare tires are typically located in the trunk beneath the carpetlike mat covering the area. SUV drivers may have their spare tires mounted on the back of their vehicles, but some are located beneath the automobile. Periodically inspect spare tires to make sure they are inflated. When buying or leasing new cars, drivers should always confirm if the vehicle comes with a spare.

• Jack: A jack is necessary to change a flat tire. Scissor jacks are widely used and tend to be the jacks most people keep in their trunks. These jacks are lightweight and won’t take up much space, and the handle is typically the tire iron that comes with the vehicle. Some jacks are specially designed to fit the vehicles they came with, so when shopping for replacement jacks, make sure any you are considering are compatible with your car or truck.

• Lug wrench: A lug wrench is necessary to remove hubcaps or wheel covers. Drivers should determine if their vehicles require a special tool to remove wheel covers. Such information will be indicated in the owner’s manual, which should be kept in the vehicle at all times.

• Wheel wedges: Wheel wedges can be placed in front of or behind tires to prevent the car from rolling while drivers change their flats. When changing a rear tire, place the wedges in front of the front tires. When changing a front tire, place them behind the rear tires.

• Miscellaneous items: While the aforementioned items are all that’s necessary to change a tire, some miscellaneous items can facilitate the process of replacing a flat. In their cars, drivers can keep a small cloth bag containing a pair of gloves, a flashlight, batteries to go with the flashlight, a poncho to keep them dry should they need to change a tire in the rain, and a ballcap that can keep rain or sunlight out of their eyes so they can focus on the job at hand. It’s also a good idea to keep a blanket in the trunk of your car so passengers can stay warm inside while the flat tire is replaced.

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